Not knowing the difference between Heaven
And Paradise, he called them both Heaven.
So when he shrugged at the thought of a god
Blanched in the lights of implausible heights,
Thumbing the armrests of a throne, that was
Heaven. And when he stared out at the sea,
Feeling familiar to himself at last,
He called that Heaven, too. And nothing changed
About either Paradise or Heaven
For it: Paradise retained its earthen
Glamour; and Heaven, because it can’t stand
For anything on its own, like the color
Of rice or a bomb, was happy to play
Along, was happy just to be happy
For once, and not an excuse for mayhem.
To read the rest of this piece, purchase the issue.
Ottessa Moshfegh, No Place for Good People
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Polo Goes to the Moon
Jane Hirshfield, A Cottony Fate
Adam Kirsch, My Wife in Joy and Sorrow, 1911
Nick Laird, Watermelon Seed
Les Murray, A Denizen